The Bandjoun museum
Permanent exhibition
The land and the men
Myths, legends and history
Kingdom and society
Secret societies and religions
Bandjoun yesterday, today and tomorrow
Itineraries of the collective memory

Itineraries of the collective memory
Places of history, legends and myths

I. Compound of Wafo Youovop in Topo-Famleng


This is one of the places where the founder king of Bandjoun settled in the 17 th century, before the royal residence was moved further away, to Tseleng.

This compound has two important sanctuaries, bordered by two very tall trees at the feet of which leftover food used for various sacrifices can sometimes be seen.

This old royal residence was for a long time guarded by a refugee who later settled in Baham, where he founded the wabo Nzusuo lineage. King Kamga I decided to settle his brother Wafo Yuevop there in the 19 th century.

The specific nature of the place is that it still has the structure of the former royal residence. The guardian priests are the notables Wafo Yuevop and his son TagneTegnosu. Formerly, all the new kings of Bandjoun, after their initiative to the la'kam, came to this site in the company of the ngwala to perform rites in different sanctuaries. Today, when necessary, the king sends people to do them in his place. The site is about fifteen kilometres from the museum.

II. Sanctuary of Poumougne ( Pu’munyeh)


Not far from the high school of Bandjoun, the sanctuary of Poumougne is a large area which opens up on to tall trees. at the feet of which the kamsi, or notables of God, go to perform sacrifices. The place is bordered by a small ox-bow lake, where the rites of washing or purification generally come to an end.

King Notchwegom, when he was old, is believed to have drowned in this ox-bow lake, not far from la’vu'u , another place of the memory of Bandjoun. The kamsi go there to enthrone and initiate their members, practise exorcism or ritual ceremonies in order to heal the ill or help people under an evil curse.

The population and the king can go there or send people to perform animal sacrifices (cockerels or rams) or give offerings of kola oil, jujube, salt, and fish to the ancestors and to the divinity of the site. This is to ask them for peace and the happiness of the kingdom and their homes on the one hand and health for themselves or for a family member on the other. People also come to expiate their sins. The sanctuary is about seven kilometres from the museum.

III. La’vu’u


Located in the centre of Bandjoun, very close to the high school, this place of memory is linked to the sanctuary of Pourmougne by its proximity and its history.

It is the compound where Notchwegom, the first king, founder of the dynasty of Bandjoun, stayed at his headquarters during the conquests of the Dibu, Soun and Mouwe chefferies.

It could be from here that he pacified all these chefferies. It is about seven kilometres from the museum.

IV. Sanctuary of Topo-Soun


This place of worship consists of a tall tree, in the corner of an open piece of land located not far from the Catholic school of Soun, on the edge of the Bandjoun-Douala main road. It formerly belonged to the soun chefferie, whose chief, Totso, was defeated by the conquering King Notchwegom. Soun thus became part of Bandjoun whilst preserving up to the present the agricultural cult djet and the dance of the same name which is still performed. Topo-Soun is one of the most highly venerated places of worship in the whole of Bandjoun. During military expeditions, the war lords had the tradition of coming here to make sacrifices, at times human.
Customary justice is also rendered here. According to our informers, with the exception of King Ngnie Kamga, all the kings would ho there after their enthronement to make sacrifices in the company of their ngwala under the guidance of the notable Nzu Tayo, the local priest. The inhabitants of Soun were also exonerated from taxes. The site is about five kilometres from the museum.

V. La’a vo à Houa


The area of about 140 m 2 presents a forest of tall trees surrounded by an enclosure of raffia mats. The feet of the trees are sorts of altars where numerous sacrifices are made. The sanctuary was founded by the inhabitants of the Houa quarter, probably before the beginning of the 19 th century to eradicate scourges such as theft, murder, lying, vampirism and adultery. The king often sends offerings to ask for peace in the kingdom.

Countless kamsi, notables of god, clairvoyants or mediums of the kingdom come here every tamdze (one of the eight days in the traditional calendar in Bandjoun) "to wash" or treat ill children.

The cults are generally performed by the patriarch Nzu Takotué, at whose home the sanctuary is, or by the kamsi who maintain the site.

The enclosure of raffia mats which covers this sacred place is restored each year in March by ten chiefs of important and ancient lineages that are well known in the quarter:
- Nzu Takotué;
- Wabo Tekam;
- Tagne Te Ngnowa;
- Nzu Takotso;
- Souop Tabekomdjo;
- Nzu Tabougue;
- Tocpe Takam Meyim;
- Nzudie Fowé;
- Te Ngnimko;
- Tadoung Moudjo
The sanctuary is about five kilometres from the museum.

VI. Schuep at Wabo Tekam’s in Houa


This sanctuary is located in the compound of the chief of the lineage founded by Wabo Tekam, the warrior who succeeded in defeating the panyeh horsemen at the beginning of the 19th century, in the reign of King Kaptué who raised him to the rank of wabo, a dignitary with the rank of chief vassal.

The current priest of the site is called Tchassem Moïse known as Wabo Tekam V, the successor with the fifth rank of warrior.

The site is about four kilometres from the museum and 300 metres from La’vu'u.

VII. Gheshio in Dja


The sanctuary occupies an area that stretches on both sides of a river with a small waterfall and over a distance of almost 15 metres (about 10 metres and 5 metres of the two river banks) there are columns of old trees the feet of which are real places of worship. The visitor is impressed by the remains of the offerings: palm oil, dishes of stewed maize dressed with palm oil, kola nuts, jujubes ( didium), salt, freshwater fish (silurids), bones of sacrificed chickens or goats, etc. The kamsi or notables of god, come to this place of worship and justice to enthrone or initiate their members, practice exorcism on behalf of the ill or people under an evil curse.

After the ritual ceremonies, the ill and the new initiated kamsi generally bathe in the waterfall of the sanctuary, chanting liturgical songs to the glory of the “Highest”. The local population also come to perform sacrifices. The site is about three kilometres from the museum, a few metres from the Yaoundé-Bandjoun main road.

VIII. Toko inà Mtieki


Toko-Mtieki is a crossroads near the public school of Mtieki. It is used as a market for the population of this quarter and the inhabitants of the neighbouring areas (Bahouan and Bameka in particular) and who come here every dzedze and dzemto, to sell their crops.

All the major public events of Mtieki are held here, which has a sanctuary located at the foot of a tree where the people come to perform sacrificed and make offerings. The sanctuary altar is made up of stones surrounded by mats ( kia) made from the pith and stems of raffia. This haven of peace was founded under King Fotso II to mark the end of the war between Bandjoun and Bahouan. This war had pushed the population of Bahouan to dig trenches ( seum) the remains of which can still be seen today not far away. On its foundation, another sanctuary was established on the Bahouan side.

Every time there is a ceremony immolating a goat or a ram, the two places of worship are involved. This place of memory is about ten kilometres from the museum.

IX. The waterfall of Feibè


This impressive waterfall of almost 65 metres high is in the Ha quarter, on the border with the sub-chefferie of Demlo.

From a rocky summit acting as the sanctuary, where exorcism, the healing of the ill, sacrifices and various cults are performed, the water of the stream falls into a sort of large ravine, bordered with huge trees and a winding path in the brush has to be taken to get there.

This is an opportunity for the visitor to discover the mountain landscape that borders the large plain of Bandjoun, known as Togodjo, situated not far away. The patients of the kamsi, "notables of god" come to bathe here. The waterfall is very impressive in the rainy season.

The water meets, at a places known as Chie sei the water coming from two other waterfalls called Pâbei (in the sub-chefferie of Lemgo) and Mefo Mekù (in the sub-chefferie of Djionè) before flowing into the Noun after having irrigated the large plain of Togodjo, the granary or agricultural reserve of the Bandjoun community.

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